Expanded college football playoffs stir debate

The college football playoffs will feature 12 teams next year. Playoff Logo is licensed in the public domain.
The college football playoffs will feature 12 teams next year. Playoff Logo is licensed in the public domain.
More playoff spots will hurt the game

With Michigan taking the college football title this year, attention turns to next season. The college football playoffs will feature 12 teams next year instead of only four. It is a bad idea to make a big jump to include eight additional teams due to one decision. 

Some may argue that it is good to give more teams a chance. However, it is still inevitable that some teams that do not make the cut will still complain that they deserve to make it over others.

Then there will be arguments over byes since only the top four teams will get a bye in the first round. This will give those top four teams a big advantage. 

Letting so many teams into the playoffs will also lead to many more blowouts. Just look at the 2023 National Championship game, where TCU lost 65-7 to Georgia. An increasing number of blowouts would cause bad TV ratings.

Also, now that so many teams have the chance to make playoffs, the regular season won’t be as important. Now two-loss teams and possibly even three-loss teams will be able to make it. 

The players will also be affected negatively in this new format as well. There now will be more pressure on them and more of a chance for them to get hurt from playing more games. 

Games will most likely have to start earlier in the year to squeeze in all of the playoff games. This will mean more August games, which will bring hotter temperatures for the players. 

In addition, once teams start to have a strong idea that they will be in the playoffs, they will start benching starters to avoid injury. This will make college football too similar to the NFL. 

The college football playoffs have operated fairly smoothly the way they are. To change them this drastically overnight is not going to be beneficial for fans or players. 

Bigger playoffs will be great for fans

Expanding the college football playoffs to a 12-team bracket gives more student-athletes the spotlight and increases the difficulty and importance of the College Football National Championship.

Under the current playoff setup, a team like Florida State, which was undefeated in the regular season, could lose out on a playoff spot despite doing nothing wrong during the season. Also, having just four teams always leaves at least one member of the Power Five conference unrepresented. 

Even if some may say going to 12 teams in the playoffs in the next season is drastic and too large an increase, most would agree that only four teams in the playoffs seems almost underwhelming in the modern game. 

From a fan perspective, the new setup seems great: There will be more games, higher stakes, and more chances for players to make a name for themselves.

A major concern that comes with such an extension of the playoffs is the physical toll on the players, with many fearing the loss or delay of NFL careers because of the extra games and the possibility of injury.

Still, not every player will make it to the NFL, and for many athletes, the College Football National Championship playoffs will be the highlight of their career. In addition, players with NFL prospects can simply not play in every game, giving their other teammates a chance to shine. 

Football is a dangerous sport, but extending the season allows more competitors their rightful time in the sun. Also, with teams being eliminated from the playoffs left and right, the addition of the games only really affects those who are in the finals or semifinals, with losers of the first and second rounds not yet feeling the extended schedule. 

The advantages of the college football playoff expansion far outweigh the drawbacks, and fans should wait until the playoff expansion happens to take a stance based on player conditions.

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